The first Monday in May is Music Monday. All across Canada, schools, community groups and musicians from all walks of life celebrate the gift of music in their lives. Created by the Coalition for Music Education in Canada 25 years ago, this day reminds us of the unifying power of music.
The vision statement of the CMEC reflects that they “envision Canada as a country where the lives of all children are enriched by quality school music programs, and where their active participation in music is valued and supported in our communities”. The core of the Music Monday celebrations is the anthem. Every few years Canadian artists collaborate to create a song around themes of unity, community, collaboration and diversity. Teachers can access lyrics, audio recordings and videos online to teach the song to their students, so that on Monday thousands of youth across the country will be singing the Music Monday song in their schools and communities. Often teachers make this an outdoor, whole school event, or collaborate with other schools and community groups. It truly is amazing to see and hear hundreds of kids standing outside in the May sunshine singing together.
The mission of the CMEC is to “raise the awareness and understanding of the role that music education plays in Canadian culture, and to promote the benefits that music education brings to young people”. Along with the amazing educational resources available online, there are also translations and performances of the anthem in at least 11 languages. These include English, French, Sign Language and several indigenous languages.
Maybe you can find out what’s happening in your community, or in your local schools for Music Monday. You could attend a performance of the anthem at one of the schools near you. Or maybe you could listen to the anthem, paying attention to the meaning of the lyrics. If you are interested you can Google the Music Monday anthems from previous years (back to 1993 even) to hear how the message has changed and remained the same. Did you have a music teacher who made a difference in your life? Send some energy of gratitude into the world on Music Monday. I hope you will take a moment to reflect on how music, especially when made in community with others, has made your life better.
CMEC resources and Music Monday resources can be accessed here: https://www.musicmonday.ca/